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Guests are allowed to bring food and drink to the Zoo Operations Building. We have a standard size refrigerator and freezer that guests may use, as well as a sink and a microwave. We do not have a ice machine. We do request that you wait to eat until after the animal presentation to eat (because the animals may be hungry!)
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Please call 706-613-3580 for the most recent party time options. Please note that birthday parties may not be available during holiday weekends, special zoo programs, or during the summer for zoo camp. Please check the website for these updates, or call the Memorial Park Office at 706-613-3580.
Basic - $75 – Includes use of the party room for three hours with tables and chairs, a 30-minute educational walking zoo tour, and a 30-minute animal presentation for the group.
Deluxe - $125 - Includes basic package plus a Specialty Cake of your choice (serves 20-25) with candles, table decorations, plates, cups and party favors for each child (up to 25 kids).
You may book a birthday party by visiting the Memorial Park Office, Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm. You may also call the Office at 706-613-3580. Please have payment ready at the time of booking. Over the phone, you may pay by Visa® and Mastercard®. Effective January 1, 2014, a $3 fee, to partially recover the fees charged to Athens-Clarke County will be added to the total payment if made by credit card. There is no fee for debit card payments. In the office, we can process check, cash, or card. Checks should be made payable to Athens-Clarke County.
You many upgrade from a basic to a deluxe party by calling the office at 706-613-3580. You may also visit the office M-F 8am – 5pm. However, please call at least two weeks prior to your party reservation. The upgrade fee is $50, which includes a party favors for the kids, as well as a specialty animal-shaped cake (please let us know what kind of cake you want). Please have cash, check, or credit card available when upgrading.
We recommend that you book your party one month in advance in order to ensure your desired date. However, we REQUIRE a 2-week notice for all parties. Our most popular months for parties are March through May, and August through October.
Unfortunately, we cannot grant access to the birthday party room earlier than the time that it is reserved. For 10am parties, the party hosts must arrive at 10am. For 2pm parties, party hosts must arrive at 2pm. If you arrive early, the room may be locked. We recommend that you tell your guests to arrive 15 – 30 minutes past the hour.
Arrive at 10am or 2pm (depending on rental) to begin set up. Bear Hollow staff will greet your group and provide assistance with party set up. They will also present your cake (if applicable). Bear Hollow staff lead a 30 minute animal presentation in the birthday party classroom (if weather permits, it may be done outside). Then, the group will be led on a 30 minute walking zoo tour. You will then have the remaining time to hold your party (games, cake, presents, etc.) in the building. Be sure to allow a few minutes for cleanup of the area (we just ask that you put your trash in the provided receptacles) for your departure at 1pm or 5pm (depending on rental).
If there is inclement weather, the parties may be held inside for the duration of the rental. It is up to the staff and the party hosts to determine the course of action. We have coloring materials, board games, and books that the children may use. If icy conditions cause a party to be cancelled, you may be able to reschedule the party. Please call 706-613-3580 if this is a concern.
Typically, the room will have three 8 foot tables (with 8 chairs at each table). We have two other tables, as well as counter space, for cake, presents, and other decorations. For the deluxe parties, we have jungle themed tablecloths and flatware that will be set up before you arrive. If you reserved a basic party, you may bring your own tablecloths as well as balloons, streamers, and other decorations. We just ask that you leave the room as you found it. We will take out the trash and sweep.
The Birthday Party room will accommodate up to 30 guests—this includes children and adults.
The Birthday Party room is located in the Zoo Operations Building. To access this building, please park in the main lot of Memorial Park. Then walk around the basketball courts and the butterfly exhibit and you’ll see the Zoo Operations Building. Many people have found it helpful to place balloons at the corner of the basketball courts as a signal to their guests.
The deluxe party provides party favors for up to 30 kids. Although inventory may change, the current party favor includes a Bear Hollow Zoo kids’ souvenir cup with a small coloring book/crayons.
Please inquire with staff at the time of booking your party.
Please call the Memorial Park Office at 706-613-3580 to order an additional cake. The charge is $25.
Party hosts are welcome to bring games and a piñata, which you may hang from the beams in the room, or from the basketball hoop. Soft music may be played at an appropriate level, with consideration to the animals that may be occupying the same space.
Please check the birthday page to see the program animals available for birthday parties. We will do our best to accommodate your animal requests.
You are welcome to tell us your requests for animals. However, we cannot guarantee their appearance. We have a strict program animal policy that keeps our animals safe and healthy. Please understand this when booking a zoo birthday party.
Guests can find program evaluations in the birthday party room after clean up. We ask that you honestly rate the staff and your experience, so that we can improve the birthday party packages in the future. If you need to make a complaint, you may visit the office or call 706-613-3580 to resolve any issues.
You are expected to put the trash in the trash cans, but please—recycle when you can. We will have green bins available in the room for this purpose. If you borrowed cutlery, you may place it in the sink when you leave the room.